KAMPALA – The Mwanga II Magistrate’s Court has charged Pastor Augustine Yiga with negligence following his utterances that there is no coronavirus in Uganda.
Pastor Yiga appeared before the court on Monday, March 30, 2020 and denied the charges.
He was then remanded to Luzira prison until April 6.
According to Section 171 of the Penal Code Act, any one person who involves themselves in a negligent act likely to spread an infectious disease commits a crime and faces a jail sentence of up to seven years.
“Any person who unlawfully or negligently does any act which is and which he or she knows or has reason to believe to be likely to spread the infection of any disease dangerous to life commits and offence and is liable to imprisonment for seven years,” the Penal Code Act.
Last week, the Minister of Health issued a statutory instrument that places a two-month jail term for anyone who helps another person to escape from quarantine during this era of coronavirus.
The minister of Health also is empowered to put any area under a lockdown should it be suspected to be infected with coronavirus.
These are contained in a statutory instrument issued and gazetted by Health minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng on March 24, 2020.
“Any person who aids a person who is confined in a place designated for isolation or for quarantine for COVID -19, in escaping or attempting to escape from the place commits an offence and is liable to imprisonment for two months,” Section 11 (2)(a) of the statutory instrument ‘The Public Health (Control of COVID – 19) rules, 2020,’ reads in part.
According to the instrument, the minister is empowered to declare a place as infected area with Coronavirus and put under lock down for 28 days.
“All persons residing in a declared infected area shall undergo such medical inspection or examination, as the medical officers of health may direct,” Section 13 (2) of the instrument states.
The instrument bans gatherings, mass physical treating, bars, public meetings and live animal markets until April 16-20, 2020.